Last week, Variety reported that Danger! executive producer Mike Richards is in advanced negotiations with Sony Pictures Television to become the show’s permanent host. After Trebek’s death last November, Sony brought in a series of guest hosts after the last episodes of the former host aired.
Richards – who joined the show last year as an executive producer and previously hosted High school reunion and Beauty and the geek and was the executive producer of the game shows Let’s make a deal and The price is right – impressed Sony with his stage presence and ability to chat with contestants when he took on the role of guest host in February, according to Variety.
But some fans of the show have taken to Twitter to show they’re not so impressed, especially in light of reports that Richards was among the defendants named in several lawsuits over his 10-year career. as executive producer of The price is right.
Past trials track Richards
In 2010, a lawsuit filed by the former Price model Brandi Cochran accused Richards of firing her because she was pregnant while another lawsuit filed in 2011 by Model Lanisha Cole has claimed she was harassed on the set of the game show, Variety reported.
The two lawsuits ultimately resulted in settlements, according to the magazine.
According to court documents, Richards said the reason Cochran had not been bought out was because the show made changes to the model line-up on the air, Variety reported. And Richards was dismissed as a plaintiff in Cole’s 2013 lawsuit and the case was settled out of court.
In an internal note sent to Danger! staff Monday, Richards addressed the allegations.
“I want you all to know that the way my comments and actions were characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The price is right, Richards said in the note.
“I wouldn’t say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues in their parenting journey. “
Yet these lawsuits make Richards the wrong person to replace a beloved host like Trebek, says Stacy Lee Kong, founder of the pop culture newsletter Friday Things.
“He can’t put himself in Alex Trebek’s shoes. He doesn’t feel like a worthy successor or the person to take this brand forward in the future, ”said Lee Kong.
“None of the things I’ve learned about Mike Richards make me think he deserves this role. “
Ken Jennings and LeVar Burton among fan favorites
A July online survey by OnePoll that asked 1,003 Americans for their opinions on recent guest hosts found former Danger! champion Ken Jennings as the favorite to succeed Trebek, followed by Richards and LeVar Burton, the former host of the educational television series PBS Kids Rainbow reading.
Burton was a guest host on Danger! July 26 to 30. In 2013, he tweeted this accommodation Danger! would be his “dream job,” and in April, fans launched an online petition to name him as the host, garnering more than 200,000 signatures.
Unsurprisingly, Burton supporters say they felt disappointed by the news that Richards was the lead candidate.
Everyone: We would love to have Levar Burton host Jeopardy.
Levar Burton: Yes please.
Jeopardy: We’re going to hand the job over to the guy who hosted Beauty and the Geek, Mike Richards.
YALL COULD HAVE AN ICONIC LEVAR BURTON BUT YOU CHOOSE CHAD MCWHITERSON FOR… WHAT ??? https: //t.co/Ks2I7ymhYi
Burton’s background as an educational TV host makes him the perfect fit for Danger!, said Yolanda Machado, editor of pop culture website Nerdist.
“For me, the only natural change from Trebek would be to move to someone who emphasizes education and learning – and that someone is LeVar Burton,” Machado said.
“Many of us grew up with him as a connection to our education outside of school. “
Get out of the traditional
Choosing Burton as the host would also allow the show to better represent its viewers, Machado said. Going forward with one of the other top contenders is a missed opportunity, she said.
“Having said that the network clearly doesn’t care about a public demand, or that it refuses to recognize that the people who speak out and say ‘Hire LeVar Burton’ are their demographics as well,” she said. declared.
“It is clear that they do not even consider marginalized groups to be part of their audience. “
Claire McNear, author of Answers in Question Form: A Definitive Story and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy !, spoke with Trebek a number of times as she worked on her book.
“What he told me was that he was very much aware that game show hosts have historically [been] and today are mostly white men ”, dit McNear.
“I think he at least wanted Sony to take a very serious look at someone who wasn’t white or who wasn’t a man, just to break out of that traditional mold. “
In response to the support he has received from fans, Burton recently tweeted, “I have said several times over the past few weeks that no matter what the outcome, I won. “
“The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and fans has been amazing! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure. “
I have said several times over the past few weeks that no matter what the outcome, I have won. The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and fans has been amazing! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure. 🙏🏾
Promotion review from producer to host
Richards acknowledged in his internal memo to staff that he had been asked if he would consider hosting Danger! He said no final decision had been made and discussions were underway with him and other potential hosts.
Richards also said that the choice of the permanent Danger! the host is not – and never has been – his decision.
But McNear says some eyebrows will inevitably be raised if Richards were to transition from show producer to permanent host.
“It was a little shocking to see the executive producer being the one to become the host,” she said.
Some fans on social media have compared Richards to Dick Cheney, who led the search for vice president for George W. Bush before he himself was named vice president.
“After exhaustive research, I concluded that I am the best man for the job. “
Mike Richards is clearly the Dick Cheney of Game Shows. https://t.co/Aa24Y3RYyY
A) This executive producer decided to take a Dick Cheney and commit.
Q) Who is Mike Richards? https://t.co/5DzuyXdWoZ
Without knowing the details of how a host is chosen, Lee Kong says the prospect of Richards occupying the position raises public suspicion.
“None of the lenses here are good,” said Lee Kong. “We don’t know the details, [so] it opens the door for us to see these perhaps harmless things in a more sinister light. “
In his memo, Richards said Sony’s top priority has always been to continue the legacy built by Trebek and Danger! fans, claiming that the game and its competition will continue to be guiding principles as the decision of a permanent host is made.
This week marks the last week of the current season. Danger!, with sports presenter Joe Buck as the guest host.